Among the most prestigious scholarly networks stands the American Political Science Association (APSA). This prestigious organization nurtures the academic minds of over 14,000 members, spans over 80 countries and promotes the study of political science.

Two UR undergraduates, seniors Lashonda Brenson and Camilla Redding, were named the 2010-11 American Political Science Association Minority Fellows. Both students participate in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars, which is run through the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering at UR.

These UR seniors were selected from a national pool of candidates, of whom only 12 ended up making the cut. In addition to winning this award, they will receive a stipend of $4,000 as well as recommendation letters for prospective graduate schools.

Chair of the Political Science Department and Professor Gerald Gamm commented on behalf of the department about two of their students receiving this honor.

‘These are two outstanding students and the whole Political Science Department takes great pride in their selection as APSA Minority Fellows,” Gamm said. ‘Many Rochester students through the years have gone on to Ph.D. programs and to distinguished careers as political scientists, and we fully expect Lashonda and Camille to follow that path.”

One of the APSAs goals include promoting competent scholarly work about politics and government.

In the quest for scholarly excellence in the realm of political science the APSAs programs support further inquiry and career endeavors to broaden understanding and awareness of politics.

In 1969 the APSA created the Minority Fellowship Program, which has aided over 500 students to achieve doctoral degrees in political sciences.

‘[This award] really means a lot to me,” Brenson said. ‘I am so lucky. Besides the prestige in being part of the Association, there are also mentors that come along with it, like politicians and professors, who are good resources to further my education and bounce ideas off of.”

Brenson will be graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political sciences and in mathematics.

Brenson has developed an unpredicted passion for the study of political science.
‘I just started taking classes in political science, and my teachers were so passionate about their subjects I became more and more interested,” Brenson said. ‘They inspired me to research and learn more about the various topic.”

Brenson intends to further research and pursues graduate studies in political science.
‘I want to see how their legislations differ and if race and gender really affect politics and the manner politics are conducted,” Brenson said.

Brenson has also presented her research at eight regional and international conferences, including at the APSAs Annual Meeting and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

Redding, who did not respond in time for publication, will also graduate this spring with a B.A. in political science. Additonally, she a participant in UR’s Political Science Honors program.

Although Redding and Brenson have made great strides in their political science education, they started out by just taking courses that peaked their interest.

‘Just take courses you’re passionate about,” Brenson said, advising other political science majors. ‘That’s what I did.”

Wansor is a member of the class of 201

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